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Joy After Tragedy

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Episode No. 83 Joy After Tragedy
Date: September 25, 2009
Notes: A conversation with Sharon Knutson-Felix has served as Executive Director of the 100 Club of Arizona and the author of Gifts my Father Gave Me: Finding Joy After Tragedy.

Sharon Knutson-Felix has served as Executive Director of the 100 Club of Arizona since 2001 but her first experience with the 100 Club came several years before, in 1998, when Sharon’s husband, DPS Officer Doug Knutson, was tragically killed in the line of duty. She received a check from an amazing organization that’s mission was to support the families of public safety in times of tragedy, which she found out was the 100 Club of Arizona. Having been a recipient, Sharon truly understands what the 100 Club’s benefits, both financial and emotional, mean to a public safety family in a time of crisis. She has become a passionate advocate of the 100 Club since becoming its Executive Director and has been instrumental in its recent growth.

Sharon’s experience in dealing with public safety and her commitment to supporting its men and women position her as the ideal leader for this public safety non-profit. Since being elected as the Executive Director, Sharon has led the organization to create and launch six new benefits and programs, including the non-line of duty death benefit and the safety enhancement stipend program which provides equipment to public safety agencies in an effort to prevent or minimize tragedy. Yearly benefits given out have increased from $100,000 in 2001 to over $800,000 in 2008. Membership has more than doubled and corporate sponsorships have increased phenomenally, including securing the largest corporate sponsorships in the history of the 100 Club.

Before coming to the 100 Club of Arizona , Sharon served two years as President of Arizona Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) which provides resources to help families of law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty rebuild their lives. She has also served, and continues to serve, in many community support groups. For the past nine years, Sharon has been a part of the Arizona Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM), a group that provides emotional support for public safety officers (and their families) who have been injured in the line of duty so that they may continue to serve their community in a law enforcement capacity. She has also been a part of her church support group, Soulcare Ministry, for the past four years that provides a system of peer support for people in the community dealing with difficult issues and tough life decisions.

Knutson-Felix is also the author of the successful book, Gifts My Father Gave Me: Finding Joy after Tragedy that is part memoir and part grief advisor. Sharon is also a sought after speaker and grief counselor. She is the wife of DPS Executive Officer David Felix, the loving mother of two children, and grandmother of five grandkids.

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